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    December 17, 2012
    8:00 - 9:00am PST  

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many more looked at the post. i appreciate you important being with me today. i'm carol costello. "newsroom" continues right now with ashleigh banfield. hello, everyone. i'm ashleigh banfield live in newtown, connecticut. a town in mourning to say the least. the images that we have seen throughout this town are heartbreaking. makeshift memorials on several street corners. everything from teddy bears to candles to flowers and angels' wings. it is a beautiful community here. just so quiet and pristine and you call it because what you can hear about newtown, connecticut, and it is so filled with grief. it is only the beginning, though, as this town prepares to bury those who were killed on friday. there will be so many burials. the first of the funerals begins today at 1:00 p.m.
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these would beautiful children, jack pinto, noah pozner. it is going to be a tragic several weeks. no one knew that more than president obama who came here to speak to this town at a touching memorial last night. >> surely we do better than this. if there is even one step we can take to save another child or another parent or another town from the grief that'ses have e visited tucson, aurora, oak creek and newtown, communities from columbine to blacksburg before that, surely we have an obligation to try. >> surely we have an obligation to try, as newtown remembers. here are some other tragedies. adam lanza has been identified officially as the killer.
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that is his mother in better times on the right. nancy lanza. her home remains a crime scene. it will remain so for quite some time. the police aren't giving any indication right now as to a motive. they say they are accumulating quite a bit of evidence, including the hard drive of his computer at home. ape there computer, though, smashed. they also say that two adults at sandy hook elementary are recovering from gunshot wounds. now we are -- we are now hearing would survivors who were shot. they are expected to be able to help in the investigation. the police saying today when it is appropriate, when the time is right, they will be able to question those two adults further. we don't know when those 600-some-odd kids will be able to return to school. those children from sandy hook elementary. we are told that school is closed indefinitely until they are able to reopen it. but it is a crime scene and there is a lot of processing. this morning, we were told that
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it could be months and months before that school opens. the same goes for the lanza familiar family home. here is the latest word from the connecticut state police this morning. >> we are holding both crime scenes, the school and secondary crime scene, indefinitely. we seized it under search sxwarpts we will hold those locations until we have completed our work and we feel it is appropriate to let them go. it is not to read anything into that, it is common practice to do that, to hold on to the crime scene, as long as as needed for investigative purposes. >> my colleague, don lemon, joins me now. you have been doing a lot of coverage, don, on this since this broke on friday. i want to talk about the schools. they have been trying to piece together some kind of plan not only for the kids at sandy hook but also all of the kids in the district here in newtown. what do they know so far? >> not only for the kids, important the teachers as well. and staff.
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they don't feel safe. they are beefing and adding officers. you heard him talk about in his press conference. beefing up security. officers at schools. the school officers are already there. they will make sure that they have more. that's what they are doing, to assure safety as much as they can as possible for people who are going back to school. and are concerned about this. they said they are meeting with teachers as well. >> no one today. >> no one is back at school but they are meeting with teachers and have plans to meet with them all week until they figure out exactly when they want to go back. >> it is likely the rest of the children outside of sandy hook will be going back to their schools around this district tomorrow. obviously with a -- whole other plan in mode for how to handle the crisis that has happened. >> it is a working plan. you know, what happened here was extraordinary. as you have been walking around here and talking to people and i have, everyone is wearing their hearts on their sleeve. they walk up and want to hug us
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and talk to us even the police. >> even the police. >> not something we see when we arrive on these emergency location which is you and i have done for so many years. there's often a tension between the police and the press and the people. i'm not feeling that as much here as i ever have. >> to have people walk up and usually they are like oh, my gosh, you are taking over our town. thank you so much for being here. it is very refreshing in a way and it also lets us know that as tragic as this is, and you have kids who are in school in connecticut, that this -- the communities around here, people really pull together and reaching out and they will get better. >> there are people that i just encountered this morning from 20, 30, 45 minutes away that have come to bring teddy bears and just see or just be or just feel or just at least show that they care. one other quick thing i wanted to ask you, as far as those 600 or so kids from sandy hook, they are not going to be going back for several months to that school but they are make arrangements at the chalk hill school in monroe.
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>> that was the initial word. we bought the official word last night. again, as we say, it is a work in progress because they have to talk to parents and they have to talk inform to teachers and staff and make sure that the facility is big enough to take in all of the students that are at the school here, that -- won't be going back to the school here. i want to say this just before we go. i thought one of the people i spoke to yesterday who knew nancy lanza, one of her friends, said our town has changed forever. and it is definitely changed over the last couple of days. he says as we were talking, sirens were going off. there was a motorcade going by of some dignitary. it wasn't the. . he said it is like we are in the middle of a circus. except nobody is having fun with this. that sums up what is happening. >> i thought that friday might as i was drivation way from this town late. i think it was mid might when we might have wrapped up here. i was driving along and seeing christmas lights and seeing all the lights on inside of these homes. realizing a lot of these homes
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may be the ones peaked. and there were so many that i thought this town will never, ever be the same. without question. >> those 20 kids will not be running down the stairs and bolting towards a christmas tree to see what santa left them. instead their parents are trying to pick out coffins for them. that's a sad reality. >> don, thank you. stand by, if you will. alison kosik has been working on the other side of this story which is the investigation which has to go on as those who morning and plan their burials. those police officers who are now being dispatched to cover the funerals and do security for funerals are also working on the investigation of adam lanza, why he did what he did, how he did what he did. and exactly how it all transpired. still a timeline isn't very clear. alison kosik is live out in front of the lanza home. what are you finding out today? >> first of all, we are standing in front of the lanza home. it is the one behind me here on
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the hill. it is picturesque when you look at it. it is huge. sitting on a beautiful green lawn. there is a wreath over the front door. this, though is still an active crime scene and the investigation really does continue into what adam lanza was doing in the days and in the weeks and months before this massacre on friday. investigators now have proof that the gunman -- was -- at least one shooting range. they are not say when, they are not saying where. they are also saying that his mother, nancy lanza, who also lived with him at the house behind me, who he shot and killed before he went to the school, that she also visited at least one shooting range several times. they are not saying when. they are not saying where. there was a press conference a short time ago where police were asked if they recovered anything from a smashed hard drive and the way -- the lieutenant put it is that they are investigating all electronic evidence in this case. >> i'm just curious, oftentimes
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when we cover these tragedies, the person at the center is -- leaves some kind after footprint behind, facebook page, twitter account, photographs from the yearbook. there seems to be some kind of a -- at least a photographic personality we can put together. we can get interviews with people who knew them to at least try to piece together what kind of people they were. this is one of those stories where we have had a terribly difficult time figuring out who this young man was. or even find out what he looks like. why is that? >> it has been very tough because this is a family that -- mother and son who lived behind me, they kept to themselves. they really weren't that sociab sociable. that's what we hear from neighbors. we know what he did on friday, came out into the open. he shot his way in a that school. he fired dozens of bullets into his victims, using a semiautomatic weapon. did you know he had hundreds of unused bullets on him.
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he was really out to kill. and -- at the same news conference i'm talking about, someone had asked the lieutenant, was he out to kill that much? the police didn't want to go that far. listen how police put it. >> i can't speculate what would have occurred. that would be wrong on my part. i can tell you that the -- faculty and staff in that school did everything that they possibly could to protect those children. i can tell you that the first responders that got there at the scene and entered the school and saved many human lives. i can tell you it broke our hearts we couldn't save them all. >> authorities found three weapons in the classroom inside of that school. and they found one other weapon, fourth weapon, shotgun inside of his car that was parked in the school parking lot. >> all right, alison kosik for us live this morning. thank you for that. obviously the police have said that they have an
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extraordinary amount of work ahead of them. not only are they processing that school as a crime scene, which the officer said this morning could take months, but they are also trying to find out why this young man did what he did. how he perpetrated this crime and if there was anything anyone could have done to prevent it. we have more from dr. sanjay gupta after the break. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th,
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♪ we will move on. we will never forget. we will, in many ways, become stronger from what has transpired. and we will get better. >> the connecticut governor speaking at a memorial. touching memorial last night. hundreds of people crowding into the high school here where the president was as well. saying that we will get better. must have town will get better but they will be forever scarred. the emotional toll that this will take not only on the people here but people everywhere. just a personal anecdote, i don't live far from here. i have two small children in an elementary school. we have been getting regular updates and e-mails how our school will be handling this and our district will be handle thing. this just you an idea of reverberation this kind of a tragedy is having close by.
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the security that will be beefed up at other schools around this community. the mental health professionals that are going to be on site. the meetings that are taking place. this is in my school district. just a few towns away. just to handle what these kids will likely be coming to school with because they will have heard it on the news or they will have heard it from their parents. or they will have heard it on the playground. dr. sanjay gupta joins me to talk about not only what obviously these children in newtown are going through but all kids as we go throughout connecticut, georgia, california, washington state. i mean, it is really a powerful, powerful thing to process. >> and we know that even, obviously, people who are most directly involved are going to having the highest impact and greatest impact on them. but, yeah, you are right. the people more remote that have been watching it, learning about it, talking about it, there have been studies on this and find that there is a component of post-traumatic stress even in those populations.
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we are talking about children here. we typically think about post-traumatic stress in adults. but even after virginia tech, for example, after a few months later, 15% of people who were involved -- went to colleges, who -- watched this very closely, still had some component of it. 77% of students at virginia tech had it. obviously much higher in the people most -- >> 77%? >> three to four months later. it is significant. there's a couple of things to keep in mind. one is that the quicker some of those symptoms and signs are recognized and dealt with, the much better prognosis people have. these are tough conversations but, you know, they are important in terms of trying to ward off the symptom. >> my school district suggested we talk to our children and let them know. hi that conversation with my kids on saturday. i wasn't quite sure what to make of their reaction. they seemed very disinterested. they were playing with their toys while i was telling them. i tried to mitigate some of the detail obviously and the -- devastate fact. but i wonder if this is
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something where, you know, in a couple of weeks or months, they are going to start questioning me more. where it will start to settle in and affect them at a different time. >> no question. you have just -- gave them a textbook example of that. first of all, how children -- you know, sort of react. you know, they can be -- they can be decidedly nonverbal. you watch how they are playing, how they are interacting with each other. most importantly, how they are sleeping. that's a very, very powerful predictor of how they are going to cope in the long run. they may seem disinterested. there are stages to grief. you talked about this. people know that and children can go through the stages differently than adults. you are right. that conversation could happen at any time. >> quickly let me ask you this. some of those children when witnessed this, they were asked to avert their eyes as they left the building. clearly, they are going to need so much care and attention. can we help them? can we truly help these little children get over what they have gone through? >> i think so. if there is any good news in
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this, that seems to be a consistent answer i received as well from the experts who deal with this sort of thing. again, everything here is unprecedented. you can't say -- no template. you know, they -- they can -- get over it in the sense that, you know, go on to have functional lives. getting over it doesn't mean forgetting it or ignoring it. going on to have normal lives and normal activities and dale living, i think absolutely. >> dr. gupta, i wish we could talk under different circumstances. i always appreciate your insight. >> yours as well. i watch prosecuted the beginning. being a parent myself, you really -- i think you brought it home and made it something, you know -- >> finding all of our colleagues are affected in a way i have never seen before. reminds me of 9/11. stay on the scene with us and we will continue to bring you the details as we can. a very difficult story for everyone. it is important we share this because a lot of people across the country and around the world are feeling it. feeling it like we are and they are feeling and it want to pour
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out their hearts to this community as well.
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♪ >> in the coming weeks i will
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use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals, parents, educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. >> some of the moving moments from the memorial last night here in the town of newtown, connecticut, at the high school. if you didn't see it, it was just such an emotional time between the interfaith members of the community here and the president himself. there have been a couple of different reactions across the country to what has been happening. i mean this in a technical way. san francisco-oakland area, there was a -- gun buy back. several different events. gun buy back events. they were planned before what happened here in newtown. but there were much larger crowds turning out than they had expected. you can see some of the evidence of what had been brought in. people were given $200 to bring in their zbns just hand them over to the authorities. ing the local reports say about
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600 guns were turned in over the course of things event. some people saying to the authorities that they just needed to have those guns out of their homes. the president is calling for, quote, meaningful action on guns. many democrats are calling for strict new gun control laws. of course the assault weapons ban expired in 2004. there is some talk that maybe, maybe bringing that back would be a foot. the effect of what you saw in is an plan and oakland was different elsewhere. for instance, like arizona. some of the gun buyers in arizona became very afraid actually that this new national conversation, particularly my -- what happened this beautiful town, could make it very difficult all of a sudden to get certain kinds of guns. egg i egging. >> reporter: columbine, virginia tech, tucson, movie theater in colorado, sikh temple in wisconsin, oregon shopping mall. even with those mass shootings,
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it has become easier for most americans to carry a gun, own an assault rifle, or use high capacity magazines. in the aftermath of connecticut, voices, most notably from tearful president obama, are calling for tighter gun control. you won't hear them in a california gun show held the day after the connecticut massacre. >> everybody is in a panic. i have never seen so many people at a gun show. worried about the second amendment rights. >> reporter: there is sympathy for the victim. >> it is horrible that those children did die. >> reporter: but the solution here, more guns. >> if one of those teachers, one of them, faculty member a janitor, had a gun, bam, he would have killed -- nothing compared to what he was capable of doing. you have to allow us to protect ourself. >> the guns didn't kill people. it was the person who was crazy. he was mentally unstable. >> reporter: the colorado governor said two days before
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the connecticutshooting. >> i took my 10-year-old son out shooting pigeons two weeks ago. that part of it -- that part of a gun culture is so deeply ingrained in colorado, in the united states. literally almost everywhere, that to try to change it would be, you know, a very steep hill to climb. >> reporter: there is a precedent. great britain banned nearly all happened guns after a mass shooting at a primary school in 1986. parents reflected a nation divided over gun control. >> should be more gun control, yes. >> reporter: why do you think that n. >> well, you know, guns are -- guns are -- in the wrong hands, are very dangerous. >> guns don't kill people. people kill people. >> definitely should be a gun control. should be month guns out will. lot of crazy people don't know how to handle guns. >> i don't think taking guns out
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of civilians who are good contributing members of society are the answer. >> reporter: since the connecticut shooting more than 100,000 americans have signed an online petition demanding president obama produce legislation limiting access to guns. >> casey joins me live now outside of an elementary school in phoenix. watching that story, you -- you are reminded of the juxtaposition of the opinion that -- so many people want their freedoms and their right to bear arms and -- so many people fear what that freedom could bring as well. talk to me about what you are feeling in that community today. >> reporter: well, it is really a community divided. it is a nation divided on this issue. that last parent who was in our report who we local church here and he says he or more people to be armed. you hear that a lot from gun rights advocates. at that gun show in california over the weekend, people were busily buying guns.
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afraid that gun control legislation could be on the horizon. wanting to get the guns they wanted before that happened. also talked to a lot of parents in places like that are very afraid and say now is the time important gun control. it is long overdue. they a place this where they are supposed to be safe and realizing they are not. >> thank you for that. i just wanted to quote a statistic for you. in case you are wonder being the number of people who are interested in buying guns, the fbi is reporting that just this year, just this year, 2012, 16.8 million background checks were performed for gun purchases. and how does that compare to, say, ten years ago? that is double the number than a decade ago. back after this. ♪
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that we are together and united. >> those words from the pastor last night resonating not only with me but everyone watching had something to feel at that moment as though he was speaking directly to them. in this crisis, there are so many people across the country. indeed around the world that just somehow want this community to know that their hearts are with them. and that is really evident as you walk through this tiny town. you can see you call it beaut kwlind me. what you can't see are the makeshift memorials springing up all over town. people bringing whatever they can from teddy bears to flowers and to trinkets, to homemade signs, and we see it at so many tragedies but when it comes to 20 small children, it just has a completely different feel. i want to show you one of these memorials i walked by earlier today.
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it didn't take long before this community began to start bringing christmas trees to what's become a makeshift memorial not far from the school and there are more than 20 of these decorated trees. each one with stuffed animals, candy canes, bows, plowers. what you see mostly is the repetition of 20s. at least 20. whether it is candles that are brought out, brought out in collections of 20, to represent these victims. you also see the flowers that have been but out from local morie i florists. remarkable the number of teddy bears here and stuffed animals. you notice up here, one of the -- one of the permanent pillars someone brought out, angel wings. there is a sign below saying we promise never to forget you. moving a little further on, you see the real collection of where this makeshift memorial started. a tent now. but everything is so wet from
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the rain. hundreds of teddy bears and flowers and messages and candles, ones that are still burn ring now under the tent. if you look up here you will see why. this is the permanent sign for sandy hook school. just beyond here. media is not allowed past this point nor is the public. this is where people congregated to bring their remembrances. i spoke to man who lives down the street. he was shaking as he put a pew teddy bears down. i asked him, you live here. you seem so moved by this and -- it has been three days. he just said -- needed a way to show how he felt. just came by himself, teddy bears in his backpack. you can see the signs everywhere. angels here on the tree. it is just so moving to see what people have brought. over here, someone folded -- looks like at least 20 pieces of origami with the names of the
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victims. pray all the time. security guards in every school. see some political messages here. really for the most part just memories and thoughts and love. here you can see the stars. this is gra this is grace mcdonnell's star. she was killed in the tragedy. clearly, there are so many. just remarkable to even try to name them all. daniel barden. come to the end of the trees, you can see that this is just about the only way right now other than coming to the vigils that people can somehow, somehow show how they are feeling, how they are destroyed by this and somehow remember those who have been killed. ♪ hey, look! a shooting star!
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i know that newtown will
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prevail. that we will not falling to acts of violence. it is a defining moment for our town but it does not define us. we are must have to we are newtown, a special and caring place. we are defined by acts of courage, big acts of love, and by our continuing commitment and love for our children and families. >> trisha llodra, like the mayor in this area. there are so many in this area of connecticut. just a few hours ago, news broke that in ridgefield 20 minutes from where i'm standing, yet another school district went into lockdown. obviously nerves are on edge. but the report that came in officially was that someone who was driving by, nearby train
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station, saw someone with what appeared to be a gun, called it in and the schools immediately went into lockdown. now it is over now. the schools are not in lockdown anymore but gives thank you feeling of how nervous everyone is. not just in this community but in communities throughout connecticut. all the way down to georgia as well. my next guest is corporal jake smith from the county police. corporal smith, i understand that there are all sorts of different security measures going into place in your area as well and you are many miles and many states away. >> yeah. that's correct. our department much like other departments throughout the country have had an action plan in place for response to an incident like this. and we have been fortunate enough to not have to enact that plan in the past. we are doing so now. this is not in response to any specific threat. it is as much as anything to reassure our citizens and the public in gwinnett county that
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we are present. >> will's just -- you know, there's no template as sanjay gupta and i were saying earlier, there is no template to base our future actions on when it comes to an event of this magnitude here in newtown, connecticut. i have been hearing that at least one of the counties in your is now requiring all of its schools to lock their doors at all times. all the classrooms. also there are extra parent volunteers on hand as well. i know you said it is not in relation to any specific threat but can you give me a feeling as to how you and your force are looking at what's happened here and how that may change your planning and how to protect schools in your community going forward? >> sure. based on this action plan, what we have done and will continue to do for the next few days is we have taken every officer that's not already assigned to patrol and not already responsible for things like working accidents and responding to 911 calls. we have taken them and assigned them to each of the 102 schools
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in our district. we have an officer stationed at each school and continue the next three days when we will re-evaluate today and see where we stand and where the nation stands with the reaction to this incident. >> corporal smith, i want to ask you something and it is on a semi personal level but has to do with your professional background, too. this perpetrator took a semiautomatic weapon and shot his way in through the security system. the principal had just implemented a brand-new security system at this school. it was the safe as any school across the country can be. this automatic weapon was no -- there was no match for it. and in that light, as you look to your future planning and as school districts and police officers and police associations across this country look to try to protect their kids, is there -- is there really anything that you can do when faced with weapons like these that are out there?
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>> it is a very difficult question to answer. it gets into a lot of angles that i can't discuss with you here today. police departments around the country have changed their policies and procedures on how we respond to certain incidents like this. in the wake of columbine, many police departments went to a patrol rifle program where police officers will be actually armed with more suitable weapons for dealing with someone who is armed and in such a way. it is a very difficult question to answer when you speak about securing a silt like the school or shopping mall or movie theater or anything along those lines. it is one i'm not prepared to answer. >> of course, those police often get the call after those weapons have been discharged. so it is -- it is not something that can be dealt with after the fact. corporal jake smith, thank you for your time. best of luck to you as you continue your planning and other
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police like you across the country who may be watching as well. >> thank you. >> i just want to let you know that the new newtown district officials are meeting today, as everyone expected they would be, but there are a couple of things they need to decide. they immediate to figure out how to get those children from sandy hook, from that elementary school, back into some sense of normalcy, back to the chalk hill elementary in monroe, neighboring school that's empty but that is workable and how they can get back into the classes and somehow get back to a life that they i left behind if that is at all possible. back in a moment. [ male announcer ] this is bob, a regular guy with an irregular heartbeat.
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. ♪ each time the day gets a little longer, i will think and dream of the lives that might have been and the lives that were so full of grace. and when the flowers start to
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come out of the ground and when they rise up, i will know that we are in touch with those that we have lost in the last few days. >> the lives that were so full of good. as remembered by the governor of connecticut, dan malloy. speaking last night at that tribute that was held here where the president attended as well. one of those lives, the principal of sandy hook elementary. dawn hochsprung. the people that know her best that can tell you about her were her family. they were kind enough to let gary tuchman speak with them about their loss. >> reporter: principal hochsprung was quite a bit younger than her husband, george. when they got married ten years ago, both for the second time, she with would daughters and he with three, george was marrying
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his boss. >> she was assistant principal at our school. i was a seventh grade math teacher at that time. and -- i just fell in love with her. >> reporter: george made the big decision. the time had come to propose. >> she turned me down five times. >> reporter: you asked her to marry her but she turned you down. >> five times. >> reporter: what happened the sixth time? >> sixth time -- it wasn't such rough sailing. >> reporter: indeed. george had been popping the question on a sailboat they bought together. >> we got married out of mystic. >> reporter: beth and aim are his daters from the first marriage. erica is dawn's daughter from her first marriage. her other daughter tina was out while we were at the house. they are a blended but very close family with 11 grandchildren. >> dawn and i built this beautiful news the adirondacks. our dream. the dream was chronological dream. it was going to be dawn's house, i would die. i'm much older than dawn.
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it was going to be dawn's house. dawn's children, all these children can use the house on the lake and it would be wonderful. we built -- downstairs for kids. it was going to be dawn's house ultimately with all the children, all the children. now it is me. i don't think i can do that. >> reporter: i want to reiterate you have these beautiful daughters, son-in-laws, grandchildren, everyone will be here to take care of you. is that right, ladies? >> yes. >> my job has always been to take care of other people. >> reporter: it is all right if some people take care of you for a while. >> reporter: george taught at middle school where they met. in the middle of the day friday, this is how george found out what happened. >> the kids came up -- with a computer and said -- something is happening at sandy hook
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school. your wife has been killed. >> reporter: george raced out of school into a nightmare. like all the families of victims, they want to know more. on this day they have learned more. would teachers survived told george they were having a meeting with dawn when the shots started ringing out. >> dawn put herself in jeopardy. i have been angry about that, angry, million just now today when i met the two women that she told to go run to shelter while she actually confronted the gunman and she could not -- she could have avoided that. she didn't. i knew she wouldn't. i'm not angry i'm not angry. i'm not angry anymore. i'm not angry. i'm just very sad. they were at the meeting. there were gunshots. somebody shot the window. somebody came in, into the --
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not into the office but into the building, the foyer of the building, told us to go hide. and she and at least one other teacher ran out and actually tried to subdue the killer. i don't know where that comes from. dawn was 5'2". >> reporter: everyone here is so proud. no one more so than erica who said her mom was always there for her daughters. >> every game she was there, every practice she was there, all of my sisters' cheerleading stuff she was there, every dance competition, she was doing homework on the bleachers, but she was there. and she was my rock. my rock. >> reporter: and now she is a hero, too. the final thing i want to ask you is, what would you say to your mom right now? >> come back.
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please come back. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th,
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five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story.
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>> reporter: the president left the community of newtown, connecticut, last night to head back to washington, and obviously he has a lot of pressing business in washington as well. we have breaking news out of the white house. i want to take you now to my colleague, dan lothian, who's covering for me down there. exactly what's happening, dan? >> reporter: well, we have learned from a white house official that president obama is meeting here at the white house with house speaker boehner to discuss the fiscal cliff negotiations. as you know, there have been phone calls, and there's been a lot of optimism in recent days because of some willingness, apparently, to compromise on the part of republicans. and so this meeting taking place within the hour here at the white house. it's unclear whether what we're seeing here is the last few
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minutes before a formal agreement is reached or still some tough issues to work out. but what i can confirm is that speaker boehner and the president meeting here at the white house to discuss those ongoing negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff. >> reporter: all right, dan lothian for us. thank you. i want to go over to capitol hill now where our senior congressional correspondent, dana bash, is also following the developments. what can you add? >> reporter: we can add some interesting new details about where the discussions are. this mostly comes from excellent reporting from our congressional producer, deirdre walsh. and that is roughly a $2 trillion framework. this is something that republicans are pushing the conversations right now. $2 trillion. about $1 trillion in new tax revenue, about $1 trillion in spending cuts. i want to emphasize sources in both parties made clear that this is something that republicans are pushing now. the big question, when you talk about the overall potential deal on this especially, i'm told from democratic sources is whether or not the spending
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side, $1 trillion in spending cuts, is something that can pass the house and the senate, specifically because what they're talking about is a lot of cuts to medicare. and that is something the democrats have resisted. so this is still fluid. you know what, ashleigh? as we're talking, i'm told that the meeting just concluded. it lasted 45 minutes. so hopefully we'll get a little more detail. just the fact that they're talking face to face is a good sign. >> reporter: and obviously the business of washington continues. very much appreciated, dana bash, for following that for us. just want to wrap up from here in newtown, connecticut, if i can. there will be two funerals taking place for two of the 6-year-old children, little jack pinto and noah pozner will be buried today. also no school for any of the children in this district. and they'll be returning tomorrow. but not sandy hook elementary. they will not be returning. there are alternate plans being made for them. the vigils continue almost around the clock. and there is word of a statewide vigil being planned as well. more information on that to be
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announced. and the investigation, obviously, continues. the biggest question to be answered, why? i'm ashleigh banfield reporting. "cnn newsroom" continues after this break. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. you won't just find us online, you'll also find us in person, with dedicated support teams at over 500 branches nationwide.
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